, Volume 107, Issue 1, pp 117–124 | Cite as

Evidence for separate neuronal mechanisms for the discriminative stimulus and catalepsy induced by Δ9-THC in the rat

  • W. R. Prescott
  • L. H. Gold
  • B. R. Martin
Original Investigations


The cataleptogenic effect of Δ9-THC was compared to its discriminative stimulus effects in rats. The ED50s for the discriminative stimulus and catalepsy were 0.8 and 4.0 mg/kg, respectively, while their time courses were very similar. The ED50 of Δ9-THC for catalepsy in experimentally naive rats was not different from that in rats trained with the drug discrimination procedure, indicating that the cataleptogenic effect was not appreciably attenuated by long-term exposure to low doses of Δ9-THC. Pharmacologically, the catalepsy produced by Δ9-THC more closely resembled that of haloperidol than of morphine, since anticholinergic pretreatment eliminated the Δ9-THC-induced catalepsy while pre-treatment with naloxone had no effect. Although the cataleptogenic effect of Δ9-THC could be pharmacologically manipulated by anticholinergic pre-treatment, its discriminative stimulus effects were not changed in the same animals. These results demonstrate that distinctive mechanisms of action exist for these cannabinoid-induced behaviors.

Key words

Discriminative stimulus Catalepsy Marijuana Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Opiate Neuroleptic Rats 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. R. Prescott
    • 1
  • L. H. Gold
    • 1
  • B. R. Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Commonwealth of Virginia Drug Abuse Research Center, Medical College of VirginiaVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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